Background: Dendritic cells (DC) in peripheral tissues, such as the Langerhans cells (LC) in skin, function as sentinels of the immune system to efficiently initiate immune responses. Methods/Data base: We examined the frequency and phenotype of LC in the skin of people older than 90 years, compared to middle-aged (43 years) adult subjects. Results/Conclusion: Using two LC-restricted markers in the skin (MHC-II and CD1a), we found that, compared to middle-aged adult subjects, the skin of elderly people had a marked reduction of epidermal LC. In contrast, neither middle-aged adult skin nor aged skin showed positivity for any of the three toll-like receptors (TLR) evaluated (TLR 3, 4, 6). Unexpectedly, and unlike average adult skin, the skin of elderly subjects was clearly positive for abundant lipid raft staining, apparently restricted to basal epidermis. Using epithelial sheets, this difference was more evident. The precise implications of this finding are yet unclear but it reveals a marked difference between LC from average adults and elderly people, which might have a functional impact on LCs and immunity. © 2005 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers.
Flores-Langarica, A., Calderon-Amador, J., Becerril-Garcia, M., Estrada-Garcia, I., Limon-Flores, Y., Lacy-Niebla, R., Hoyjo-Tomoka, T., Vega-Memije, E., Granados, J., Dominguez-Soto, L., & Flores-Romo, L. (2005). Decreased frequency of cutaneous dendritic cells in elderly subjects. Allergy and Clinical Immunology International, 152-155. https://doi.org/10.1027/0838-1922.214.171.124